June 29, 2009
Two-time NCAA Champion and six-time All-America Aries Merritt (2004-06) captured his first World Championships berth over the weekend by finishing third in the 110m hurdles at the USA Championships held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Merritt improved his time in each of three rounds over the four-day event, posting a time of 13.15 in the finals.
Merritt's accomplishment means that Tennessee will have a representative at the World Championships for the sixth-consecutive year. He will be the third UT hurdler to compete at a world championship meet joining Dewayne Wallace (2001) and Karl Jennings (2005).
The World Championships are held August 15-23 in Berlin, Germany.
Tennessee's five other former athletes who qualified for the USA Championships did not finish well enough in their respective events to join Merritt in Berlin. Rubin Williams (2005-08) clocked times of 20.34 in the 200m final to finish seventh and 10.21 in the 100m prelims to finish 19th.
In the 5,000m, Anthony Famiglietti (1999-2000) posted a time of 13:33.63 to finish eighth overall. Garland Porter (2004-05) placed 6th in the hammer throw at 69.94m (229-5).
Two UT athletes who just completed their eligibility this season were also in action. Akeem Hardnett finished 21st in the triple jump with a top leap of 15.06m (49-5), while Nick Panezich fouled in all three of his shot put attempts.